Girl Power: 5 Most Inspirational Female Characters From Bollywood Movies

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Published by Amrit Santlani on 06 Apr 2019

Bollywood movies are often accused of being extremely sexist and objectifying women while being all too focused on male leads. It is believed that women in Bollywood are not treated equally as compared to men. Kriti Sanon recently said the same when Kartik Aaryan was praised for the movie Luka Chuppi they both did together.

Often it is said that in Bollywood women are only used as props, as item girls for increasing box-office collections. However, contrary to belief the same Bollywood has given us so many movies that did exceptional business with female leads, proving the point that women are nowhere below men in any aspect of life. So, here is a compilation of five of the most inspirational female characters from Bollywood movies.

1) Alia Bhatt – Sehmat (Raazi)

Raazi is the story of Sehmat (Alia Bhatt) who is the daughter of a spy. Set in 1971, tensions were high between neighbors India and Pakistan and in order to get more intel from Pakistan, a father is forced to marry her daughter to a high ranked Pakistani officer. The story portrays the risks agents have to take just for their love for the nation.

The movie excellently captures the spirit of a young Indian girl, who is even scared at the sight of blood, and her transformation into a lethal cold-blooded agent all alone in a foreign land, and even who had to kill her own brother-in-law for conspiring against her nation. Sehmat’s development as a character in the movie shows that no woman is weak and that willpower can completely transform one’s life.

2) Vidya Balan – Sulu (Tumhari Sulu)

The story of Sulu from Tumhari Sulu is the life of every neighborhood aunty but with a big twist. Ladies in our society are forced to compromise on their careers due to family responsibilities, often they have to kill their own dream for the sake of the family. Sulu, however, shows that if given the freedom, women can fly high and make their families proud.

The simplicity with which Vidya Balan does justice to this character is really admirable and it shows what every Indian woman wants to be, free and ambitious. Vidya was widely acknowledged for her role as Sulu and received various accolades and awards for the same.

3) Sridevi – Shashi (English Vinglish)

Late Bollywood actor Sridevi did complete justice to the role of Shashi from English Vinglish. The story is so relatable that every lady in India who struggles with English can relate to Sridevi’s role. In the post-colonial time, people who know English try to act elite and humiliate those who are not good with the language.

Facing a similar dilemma Shashi, living in New York secretly joins an English coaching and the sheer dedication of this lady made us fall for Sridevi again. She was applauded for her role in the movie as she developed from an introvert short on confidence to a well-spoken confident English speaking lady. She even delivers a speech in English for her niece at her wedding.

4) Rani Mukerji – Shivani Shivaji Roy (Mardaani)

Rani Mukherji had a long list of successful movies through the course of her career, yet Mardaani will always stand out. She acted like a lone-wolf taking out a gang of human traffickers saving many children’s lives. Her portrayal of the character Shivani is almost similar to a female Bajirao Singham, a daring cop who will not stop until justice is served.

Contrary to what the title suggests, gender is never brought between the plot, as Rani owned the character throughout the film. Her dialogue delivery and action is spot on, and even audiences can sense the rage when she tackles evil in her own separate ways.

5) Sonam Kapoor – Neerja Bhanot (Neerja)

Arguably Sonam Kapoor’s best performance on the big screen, till date. This movie is based on the real-life of Neerja Bhanot, a 23-year-old Pan Am flight purser, who was killed but her bravery saved many many lives. The story is set in 1986 when a New York-bound flight gets hijacked and what follows after will give you goosebumps.

Spending 16 hours aboard a hijacked plane, Neerja didn’t only manage to salvage many lives of the 359 passengers on-board, she also helped her fellow flight attendants. While everyone else escaped the brave woman Neerja got martyred and Sonam Kapoor’s portrayal of the character is bound to leave you shellshocked. The movie was ceremoniously awarded various accolades and Sonam was hailed for her acting and delivery on the silver screen.

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